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The Miami Heat completely obliterated the Indiana Pacers 115-83 to snatch a 3-2 in the Eastern Conference semi-finals heading into game 6 in Indiana on Thursday. With the awesome twosome of Dwayne Wade and LeBron James combining for a massive 58 points, the Pacers were badly beaten at both ends of courts. Sadly though the headlines will be soured by the fact that three flagrant fouls were committed including a premeditated swipe from Dexter Pitman on Lance Stephenson. There will also be interesting repercussions post game regarding the NBA's decision whether or not to take retrospective action against Udonis Haslem, who has a crucial role to play in this series due to the absence of Chris Bosh. Haslem was lucky not to be ejected after what looked like a very deliberate attempt to get back at Tyler Hansbrough, who had earlier dished out a flagrant foul of his own on Wade.
To make matters worse for Indiana, who have now lost two in a row to the Heat, their starting forwardsÂ Danny Granger and David West limped out of the game with injuries. Granger's ankle sprain in particular proved to be crucial with the Heat only leading by 2 points, 41-39 when he left the court. Granger tried to play briefly in the second half, but was in far too much pain. However, fortunately for Indiana his X-rays have come back negative and he should be able to risk playing through the pain on Thursday.
It was all Miami from the time Granger hobbled off as their big two took over with LeBron having another big night, picking up 10 rebounds and 8 assists to go with his 30 points.Â Miami as a team were also sizzling hot on the court, shooting a post season record 61% from the field.
The Pacers had one of their worst offensive nights in this game and against an infallible duo of Wade and James, one cannot afford to do that. The visiting team shot around 33% from the paint and less than 30% from beyond the arc which was a complete opposite to the game Miami was having. Roy Hibbert and David West, were expected to lead by example once Danny Granger picked up the injury but nothing seemed forthcoming from both players on either side of the court. Pacers will really have to try and work on a solid strategy to give Miami a run for their money and if Granger misses Game 6, each player will have to give his all to pick up a win.Â
Indiana coachÂ Frank Vogel was pragmatic about the outcome, stating quite clearly, "you don't get two wins for a blowout."
The Pacers though will hope that home support can help them compete with Miami in Game 6 as they look to stay alive in this series.
Boston take on Philadelphi in Game 6 of their series on Wednesday night. The Celtics lead that series 3-2.
- 27/05/2012 23:26 - NBA playoffs: Rondo leads Boston to Eastern Conference finals
- 25/05/2012 11:53 - NBA playoffs: James and Wade dismantle Pacers to take Miami to Conference finals
- 24/05/2012 12:43 - NBA playoffs: Philadelphia down the Celtics to force Game 7